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Networking

Best Wireless Extender

A wireless extender (also known as a range extender or repeater) is a device that helps broaden the range of a wireless signal from a modem or router. These devices allow you to connect wireless devices to a network from long ranges, including those outside the maximum range of the source modem or router. One of the main things you should look for in these devices is the integration of dual-band technology which helps diminish some of the signal loss that most extenders create. Beyond that, it often comes down to a reasonable price and overall reliable performance to ensure an uninterrupted connection.

We chose the following best wireless extenders because they offer the best signal quality and technology thanks to support for Wireless-AC standards which are the fastest Wi-Fi standards currently available. All of these models support a minimum of Wireless AC750, although some of them offer even higher data speeds. These are all dual-band models so they have amplifiers for both 2.4GHz and 5.0GHz which helps ensure optimal performance and signal clarity. You get indicator LEDs on all of these extenders as well so can tell when these devices are working properly at a quick glance. They have at least one Ethernet port for a wired network connection, and they all support 64-bit and 128-bit encryption to keep your data secure.

Amped Wireless TITAN-EX High Power Wi-Fi Range Extender

Here is a wireless extender which goes above and beyond what’s strictly necessary to produce a great signal at very high speeds. This model supports up to Wireless AC1900, which is some of the fastest wireless performance you can find. This also ensures it functions well with a wide range of older hardware with previous wireless specifications. It has four detachable antennas which ensure the best speed and signal quality in addition to 14 amplifiers, three for each band plus another eight designed to amplify the signal with a minimal amount of noise.

This model has a dual-core processor and 128MB of RAM which keeps this extender running fast and reduces the potential for bottlenecking. It includes a pair of USB ports for storage along with five Ethernet ports for additional connectivity. All of these features come together to make for an excellent extender that works well in most environments.

Linksys AC1200 MAX Wi-Fi Range Extender with High-Gain Antennas (RE6500HG-FFP)

This model uses dual-band technology which helps extend its range and also keep the signal running strong. While this extender works with older wireless standards, it also complies with the latest wireless AC1200 standards so if you have one of the fastest modems or routers on the market, this can extend your wireless signal even more. You get two antennas on this model which increase range and help ensure signal quality and clarity throughout your work area.

This model can extend range up to 10,000 square feet, though practical issues in your particular set up can reduce that a bit. There’s also four Ethernet ports for additional connectivity options as well as LEDs to indicate when power and Ethernet ports are in use. This is a great option for most setups and wireless networks, though if you have a wireless AC1900 network, then the Amped Wireless TITAN-EX may be a better option for you.

ZyXEL AC750 Universal Wireless Range Extender - WRE6505

This wireless extender works well in some situations, but there are a few issues to consider before picking it as your choice. If space is an issue and you need a small model, then this is a great choice as it plugs directly into a wall outlet and stays in that location during use. However, the small size can be an issue as this pick lacks any external antennas which lowers the level of signal quality and performance some of our other picks offer.

|You get support for wireless AC750 with this extender which is excellent for older wireless networks, but not the absolute best wireless performance on the market. There’s only a single Ethernet port for a physical connection, so keep that in mind if you need to set up some wired networking as well with this device. As with our other picks, this extender integrates LED indicator lights for signal quality and power.

Hawking Technology Wireless AC Range Extender - HW7ACX)

This is a good choice if you’re looking for a wireless extender for a wireless AC750 network. You get two antennas on this large model which gives you better overall performance and range. This model has LED indicators for power and wireless signal, but doesn’t indicate signal strength through color-coding the way the ZyXel model does. This is a much better choice if you need to have multiple physical connections with your extender since it has five Ethernet ports on the back. This gives you lots of options for both physical and wireless networking. While this still cannot compete with something like the Amped Wireless TITAN-EX for range or signal speed, this is a great choice for a wireless AC750 network if you have room to accommodate it.

Greg Wiesen
With an AA in Computer Animation, I have spent years building computers and playing video games. I learned early on that the best way to figure out a new software program was to just start pushing buttons and see what happens (saving often, of course), and that is still my philosophy. From hard drives and motherboards to graphics cards and "holographic" keyboards, I enjoy checking out and playing with all the tech I can get my hands on. I have written hundreds of informative computer and technology articles in the past, and I believe that anyone can understand and use a computer. I'll worry about research and trying out different hardware, you just enjoy the results.
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